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US largest offshore wind farm given final green light

The largest offshore wind farm in the US has been given the final green light for construction. The “Vineyard Wind” farm is projected to have 84 wind turbines constructed 20 kilometers off the coast of Massachusetts. Once completed, the farm is expected to supply 2% of the nation’s goal of 30 GW from offshore wind farms by 2030. The project is going to be able to power 400,000 homes and businesses with renewable energy. The 800 MW project will be the third offshore wind project to be built by the country after the 30 MW Block Island Windfarm. There is, however, a shortfall in infrastructure to produce turbines and blades for the wind farm. Transport infrastructure needed to relocate them to the offshore sites is also wanting and these issues could be due to the country’s lack of experience in offshore wind construction, nonetheless, the Vineyard Wind site is expected to serve as a catalyst to bring about more infrastructure and boost America’s steel and shipbuilding sectors.

Also Read: South Korea signs contracts for World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

The nation’s president, Joe Biden, has set high goals; cutting US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 in comparison to 2005 levels. That would require such a project to be completed on time in order to meet the demands of his administration. “We do feel a responsibility to get it right,” said the vice president of offshore wind at Avangrid Renewables, Bill White.

One of the biggest challenges is connecting export cables from the wind farm to power stations in a manner that will not cause interference with coastal communities. The previously stated Block Island Wind Farm, launched in 2016, has run into several hurdles after an undersea cable became uncovered. Reburying the cable at sea has proven complicated and set off a controversy over the cost to consumers.  “I don’t think it is a secret that the previous administration was focused on advancing fossil fuels and not renewable energy projects. Whether it was intentional or not, there was a stagnation of the process,” said White. “The Biden administration has convened an all-of-government approach to offshore wind, which we’ve never seen before.”

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